by Mitch Lee
It was the end of February 1974 and I was housebound due to the extremely cold outdoor temperature.
I normally enjoyed the weekends away from schoolwork when I could scout around in the woods around my Limekiln Lake home.
But this particular Saturday was different.
Even my dog Mutt was scratching on the door to come back inside in only thirty seconds after her morning call of nature.
As I opened the door to usher her back inside an arctic blast of air almost took my breath away.
It was clear we were both going to have to find some sort of indoor activity to keep us amused.
Being sort of an inventive eight-year-old—with a dog that was pretty much game for whatever I devised—we started to build a sort of blanket fort maze that led from the end of the hallway down and around my bedroom.
Using bed sheets and blankets I hijacked from the large storage cupboard above the washer and dryer, and kitchen chairs we proceeded to build our maze.
Mutt was pretty interested in belly-scooting her way into and out of each new section as I built and draped it with blankets.
I had a large beanbag stuffed into the corner by the back door that made it difficult to make the corner into the bedroom but we both seemed to fit through pretty well once we got the hang of it.
When it was complete we found a warm spot near one of the hallway heaters and skooched onto a well-worn wool blanket and caught a nap.
When it was time for lunch I untangled a couple kitchen chairs from our fort to place back around the table.
I was excited to see tomato soup with grilled cheese to warm me up, and I was happy to share my crust with Mutt (although she did turn her nose up at licking clean my soup bowl).
After lunch we readjusted the fort so it was more like a palace throne room for Ali Baba.
I pulled out my well-worn copy of Treasure Island and read Mutt a few chapters before we both snuggled on in for a longer snooze.
Evening came and the light faded from the back door windows making the hallway very dark.
Mutt wasn’t much help as I tried to fold and put away all the blanket fort materials.
Mitch Lee, Adirondack native & storyteller,
lives at Inlet. firstname.lastname@example.org